A recent report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) shows just how bad American health care is compared to other developed countries.
Consider, for example, the data on health insurance coverage on page 32 of this section of the OECD report:
- The United States ranks ahead of only Mexico and Turkey in the percentage of people covered --85%.
- The remaining 27 countries cover 100% --or nearly 100%-- of their citizens with publicly paid-for health care. (In Germany, 10% are covered privately.)
- Only 27% of Americans have public health insurance, probably Medicare or Medicaid, while 57% are covered with private plans. That leaves roughly 15% of the populace with no health insurance at all.
According to the report, the numbers of uninsured vary by income and age:
For that, Americans spend far more money on health care as a percentage of GDP than any other developed country. That's why we need the public insurance option on the table in discussions of American health care reform.
Here's a good summary of some of the quality of life rankings from the OECD report, courtesy of our diligent (and progressive) friends at A Tiny Revolution:
Infant Deaths: 28 out of 30 (Mexico, Turkey).
Life Expectancy: 24 out of 30 (Mexico, Turkey, Hungary, Poland, Czech & Slovak Republics).
Health Expenditures: 1 out of 30.
Poverty Rates: 28 out of 30 (Mexico, Turkey).
Child Poverty: 27 out of 30 (Mexico, Turkey, Poland).
Income Inequality: 27 out of 30 (Mexico, Turkey, Portugal).
Obesity: 30 out of 30.
Incarceration: 30 out of 30.
Work Hours (ranked in ascending order): 30 out of 30.
Height (women): 25 out of 30 (Mexico, Turkey, Korea, Portugal, Japan).